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Hawsons Iron expands scope of flagship iron ore project

Hawsons Iron

Hawsons Iron has extended the study of its namesake iron ore project in New South Wales by including an option that aims to increase the project’s output and decrease its costs.

The emerging miner will investigate an iron ore project with a potential production capacity of 20 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), an extra 10 Mtpa from the project’s original prefeasibility study (PFS).

Hawsons Iron’s updated bankable feasibility study (BFS) will also explore the option of a direct-to-port underground slurry pipeline as part of the 20 Mtpa project.

The BFS budget would be increased to $12.4 million, with an extra $7.4 million attributed to an associated environmental impact study, and $5 million for the pipeline and port component.

If needed, Hawsons Iron can call on additional BFS funding via a $200 million equity facility through LDA Capital.

Hawsons Iron executive chairman Bryan Granzien said he was excited to expand the scope of the flagship project.

“This is a compelling opportunity to maximise the value of the Hawsons Iron project,” Granzien said. “It has been enabled by the mineral resource upgrade announced on October 19, 2021, which increased indicated and inferred resources by 9 and 18 per cent respectively, compared to the 2017 PFS.

“Preliminary work has identified a direct-to-port slurry pipeline as a 20 Mtpa transport option.

“Whilst the expanded scope will assess the economic viability of this option, we expect the transport cost savings may be significant and we also expect a reduced-carbon logistics footprint and other ESG (environmental, social and governance) benefits.”

Hawsons Iron hopes the possibility of a direct-to-port slurry pipeline will improve the project’s ESG credentials, when compared to the initial rail option.

While the 20 Mtpa option would increase the capital cost of the project, Hawsons Iron said the potential economic benefits were worth exploring.

The company will explore both the 10 Mtpa and 20 Mtpa option as part of the updated BFS.

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